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Zoning in Town Planning

By liam-henry In Consultancy, Development, Government, Planning, Property On November 13, 2018

What is Zoning?

Zoning is a type of land use planning involving the division of land into categories with the purpose of defining how different areas of land can be used. Regional plans such as the South East Queensland Regional Plan and Local Government Planning Schemes both have different zoning systems that they apply to the land. As a general rule, Regional Plans are to be prioritised over Local Planning Instruments. Within different zones certain uses of the land can be prohibited or permitted. Development can either be accepted where a development assessment is not required, assessable where a development application is required or prohibited where a development application is not to be submitted.

The Planning Institute of Australia provides this other definition of zoning, found by clicking this link.

The South East Queensland Plan

Within South East Queensland the land is divided into three zoning categories. The three zones within the South East Queensland Regional Plan are the Urban Footprint, Rural Living Area and the Regional Landscape and Rural Production Area (RLRPA). The most common area where people live is included within the Urban Footprint. This includes main cities and town centres. The Rural Living Area is most common on the outskirts of the Urban Footprint, but where urban utilities such as water and sewer is generally not available. The RLRPA zoning category beyond that.

South East Queensland’s land is divided as follows:

  • The largest percentage of land, 84%, in SEQ is devoted to RLRPA (i.e., all of the good quality agricultural land and outback areas of SEQ);
  • Urban Footprint 14% (i.e., where most people live and work within SEQ – Ipswich, Brisbane, Toowoomba, etc.);
  • The smallest percentage of land, 2%, is zoned as Rural Living Area.

Other State Government Constraints can be found using tools like the State Planning Policy Interactive Mapping, found by clicking this link.

Local Government Zoning

Local Governments prescribe their own zoning categories that considers the unique characteristics of the local area that a Regional Plan does not include. There are 12 local governments within the South East Queensland Area – each of which has their own land use planning divisions. These local government areas include: Ipswich, the Scenic Rim, Gold Coast, Logan, Redland, Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley.

Common city council Zones within SEQ include:

  • Rural Areas
  • Major Centres
  • Low density Residential
  • Medium Density Residential
  • High Density Residential
  • Character Housing
  • Industrial
  • Open Space

As well as only allowing certain types of buildings on the site, zoning applies development constraints on the land. For example, certain zones may have a building height restriction where all buildings must be 1 or 2 storeys in height or they may have an intended dwelling density of 10-20 dwellings per hectare.

If you are in Ipswich, you can use this link to the Ipswich City Council’s PD Online, to learn more about the zones and overlays impacting your property.

Contact Baird & Hayes today. We will help you understand more about your property, or a potential purchase, so that you can get the most out of your development.